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EPA/OW RIN: 2040-AF86 Publication ID: Fall 2018 
Title: Clarification of State Certification Procedures Under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act 

Section 401 of the Clean Water Act requires that any applicant for a Federal license or permit to conduct an activity which may result in a discharge into a water of the United States, seek a certification from the state in which the discharge would originate that the discharge will comply with applicable effluent limitations, water quality standards, toxic and pretreatment effluent standards as well as other appropriate provisions of state law.   Regulations, which pre-date the establishment of the EPA, describe the process of certification and the process for notifying neighboring jurisdictions.  In addition, EPA has provided stakeholders with guidance through a 2010 handbook called Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification: A Water Quality Protection Tool for States and Tribes.” EPA is considering whether the Section 401 certification process would benefit from updated rulemaking to promote nationwide consistency and regulatory certainty for states, permit applicants, and other stakeholders.

Agency: Environmental Protection Agency(EPA)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Long-Term Actions 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined 
EO 13771 Designation: Other 
CFR Citation: 40 CFR 121   
Legal Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq., Clean Water Act   
Legal Deadline:  None
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  12/00/2019 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined  Government Levels Affected: Federal, Local, State 
Federalism: Yes 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Donna Downing
Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Water
Washington, DC 20460
Phone:202 566-1367
Fax:202 566-1375